On April 12, 2018, the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) published a “proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain,” amending several existing regulations, including the Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 on food contact materials. The draft proposal is accompanied by the staff working document containing a “synopsis report.”

As explained in the press release and the accompanying fact sheet, both published by the EC on April 11, 2018, the draft regulation aims “to boost trust in scientific studies on food safety” and was developed partially in response to the citizens’ concerns (expressed in the citizens’ initiative on glyphosate, FPF reported) and also in line with the recently performed fitness check of the general food law of 2002 (Regulation (EC) No 178/2002) (FPF reported). The proposed “targeted revision of the General Food Law Regulation coupled with the revision of eight pieces of sectoral legislation” will “give citizens greater access to information submitted to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on approvals concerning the agri-food chain, provide the possibility for additional studies to be requested by the Commission [EC] and, will involve Member States’ scientists more closely on approval procedures.”

The increase in transparency will be ensured by “allowing citizens to have automatic and immediate access to all safety related information submitted by industry in the risk assessment process,” by creating a “common European Register of commissioned studies,” and by holding consultations “of stakeholders and the public on studies submitted by industry to support product authorization requests.” Further, EFSA will be allowed to request additional studies “upon request of the Commission [EC] and financed by the EU budget.” The risk communication to citizens should also be strengthened, with “common actions to enhance consumer confidence by promoting public awareness, understanding and explaining in a better way the scientific opinions expressed by the European Food Safety Authority [EFSA], as well as the basis of risk management decisions.”

The feedback period is open until June 8, 2018.

Read more

EC (April 12, 2018). “Transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment model in the food chain.

EC (April 11, 2018). “Commission acts to boost trust in scientific studies on food safety.

EC (April 11, 2018). “Commission’s proposal on transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment model in the food chain.

Corporate Europe Observatory (April 11, 2018). “Better access to industry studies used in EFSA risk assessments insufficient without usage and quotation rights.

Foodwatch (April 12, 2018). “EU-Kommission will Risikobewertung verbessern.(in German)

References

EC (April 12, 2018). “Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and Of The Council on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain amending Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 [on general food law], Directive 2001/18/EC [on the deliberate release into the environment of GMOs], Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 [on GM food and feed], Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003 [on feed additives], Regulation (EC) No 2065/2003 [on smoke flavorings], Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 [on food contact materials], Regulation (EC) No 1331/2008 [on the common authorization procedure for food additives, food enzymes and food flavorings], Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 [on plant protection products] and Regulation (EU) No 2015/2283 [on novel foods].(pdf)

EC (April 12, 2018). “Commission staff working document.(pdf)

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